Sunday, January 13, 2008

Watching NFL games in Japan

I have been a big fan of NFL for the last two years - way too late for someone who lived in Pittsburgh for the last ten... I guess in order to make up for the time I have lost, i.e. the first eight years, I have started to follow the Steelers pretty religiously. This, of course, created a problem when moving out from Pittsburgh. Thankfully Japan is one of the few countries in the world really interested in (and thus following) the NFL...

NFL is mainly covered by a channel named Gaora in Japan. This is available through cable (JCN is what I use) and as I understand it also through satellite. They keep an updated schedule of games to be broadcasted online in English. All of the post-season games are shown as well as select games during the season. They are not tied to a specific network in the USA so games from CBS, FOX, etc. are shown. The funny thing is that the logos of the networks originally broadcasting the games are usually on the screen as well making it almost seem like someone patched a satellite signal and you are watching pirated video (which is of course not true :P). The non-live games take an hour less than the games as they were originally broadcast since there are very few ads during a program in Japan and all the breaks just get skipped. For live games they still do not have ads but instead divert to a studio where they discuss the last play or they advertise the upcoming games (so in a way, their own ad I guess). Also, games are simulcast in both the original language (i.e. English) and with Japanese commentating.

Unfortunately Gaora does not seem to be doing their broadcasts in High Definition. However, sometimes NHK1 which is available as over-the-air digital broadcast shows games (I think select Sunday games broadcast on Monday) in HD.

1 comment:

Calais Pedro Family said...

Hey man,

Saw the Championship games yesterday, can't wait for the superbowl. I miss having someone to watch it with. How about grabbing a beer and watch a game (I get the beer) :)? I am glad that everything is going great with you.